@FoodShareTO ‘s #RecipeForChange

Posted on March 2, 2014


A few weeks ago, I blogged about FoodShareTO’s fundraiser Recipe For Change. It finally happened last Thursday at St. Lawrence Market North, with over 30 chefs and vendors in attendance. It was a night to celebrate food and people passionate about educating the next generation. Judging by the amount of people attending the affair, I see no shortage of people who are equally passionate in supporting this good cause.

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I came as a media guest of Mary Luz Mejia, one of the food writers I have followed for a long time but never got the pleasure of meeting. I was surprised that she recognized me right away even though it was our first meeting and for that I felt thankful and welcome.

As I finally got my information package and got myself oriented at how the event was organized, I came up with a thought that line for food might be shorter at the back end of the hall. As I started walking towards the back, I need not worry about long lines. There were so many booths that there was never really that long a line at any table. With rows of tables of food, wine and cocktails, I had the leisure of practically moving from one table to the other without too much delay.

I started the night with a smoothie that was literally a fruit of a biker’s labor. She had her blender wired to a bike, she literally biked my smoothie smooth. My hat’s off for the balanced deliciousness of my berry-banana smoothie from FoodShareTO’s Field to Table Schools. Moving a few booths down, I took comfort in a bowl of warm arroz caldo of Lamesa Filipino Kitchen. Right beside Lamesa was Valdez, with a generous duck tamales. As I was finishing it, I was realizing that I might need to have fewer bites as just the two dishes already had weight in my tummy. If I were to sample over 30 food booths, I might end up in a food coma. LOL.

I later followed the tamales with a Reuben Caraway Gnocchi with mushrooms and red cabbage from The Beverley Hotel. Seeing people with a beautiful plate fashioned like a big spoon, I found out it was fresh ceviche from TO Ceviche Bar. After tasting Pizzeria Libretto feature Ricotta Gnudi, I knew I had to take a break from eating and I was glad to have found the booth of The Love of Tea. Not only did she gave me a citrusy steeped chai tea, I was most entertained by her mixology techniques. It was a welcome interlude after all the food I have eaten.

I then moved on to sample Le Select Bistro’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Bernardine’s Ice Wine Jelly bite sized appetizer and Carmen’s Vegetarian Paella. As I was finishing the paella, I saw them cook a more traditional paella filled with seafood and chorizo. I was that they have just started cooking it and from the size of the pan, I estimated it would take about 45 minutes before they would serve it. I just have to come back and try it.

Moving to another booth, I knew I have to find space for My Little Dumplings Mushroom Bao. It’s a personal weakness and I was glad that it was warm, soft, moist and savoury, just the way I like it. By this time, I was starting to get selective as I was getting full. I skipped the Lamb Sliders of Annona (I might live to regret that) and went for George Brown Chef School’s Caramelized onions on whole wheat scones and the light cucumber cups with zucchini hummus by Belmonte Raw. Giving myself a break, I busied myself with taking pics of two familiar beaming faces of Carol Belmonte and Rossy Earle.

After the hugs and chats, I tried the Urban Acorns/The Deppaneur’s Banana Pezé. It was a surprise of a crunch with my first bite and how there were hints of tartness to balance out its fried richness. I think that was my most favourite bite of the night! The next table offered a beautiful bowl of Moroccan inspired Cauliflower soup with pickled micro salad and crispy chick peas. Not only was it delicious, it was also such a photogenic presentation from Good Earth Food & Wine Company. It was a dish that would easily please a food photographer like me.

Next in line was Wind Up Bird Cafe’s Tofu Avocado Gratin and Sweet Potato Mille-Feuille. I must say for the night I was getting a heavy dose of vegetarian and vegan dishes and I was floored that I did not mind that I had more vegetarian dishes than savoury meat.

I did find my bacon but it would be in an unusual serving. I found it with CremaTO’s maple bacon macchiato! I actually felt so giddy being handed a glass of beautiful foamy macchiato and I was told I can decide how liberal I like with the bacon. Such a foodie moment when you finish freshly brewed coffee to the last drop and savour tiny bits of bacon. It was like breakfast in a cup!

At this point, I was ready for sweetness and I tried The Tempered Chef’s Citrus Financier and Soma’s rich Mayan hot chocolate and 416 Snack Bar’s Gulab Jamun. As I was finishing my dessert, I realized I have forgotten to swing by Carmen for that traditional paella. I hastily walked back and found that they were just putting the finishing touches to the steaming paella. As I patiently lined up for my bite, it was good that I got that taste. Savoury chorizo mixed with properly cooked seafood was a taste I would regret to miss.

I knew there were still several tables that I didn’t get to try. I must say that I was happily exhausted by the time I put my little platter of paella down. FoodShareTO’s Recipe for Change was a big success as I look around and see satisfied foodies like me. It was definitely a night celebrating good food.  Thank you for this rich experience.

Even if the Recipe for Change fundraiser night is through you can still make a donation to FoodShareTO.  Click on this link for details.

Posted in: Toronto Eats